Recap: Wolf Pack 3, Islanders 2Jan 4, 2024
Ruslan Iskhakov extended his scoring streak to six games with a first-period assist on Thursday, but the Bridgeport Islanders (9-19-2-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 3-2 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack (17-7-5-0) at Total Mortgage Arena.
Otto Koivula and Cole Bardreau scored goals for the Islanders, while Brian Pinho added two assists to begin a five-game homestand. Henrik Tikkanen (1-1-0) turned aside 21 shots in his second AHL start, as Bridgeport outshot Hartford 30-24.
Hartford pulled ahead just 2:28 into the game when Matt Rempe capitalized on a 2-on-1 rush for the Wolf Pack. Matej Pekar recorded the primary assist, setting up a cross-crease pass for Rempe to shovel the puck home in tight.
The Islanders tied it up with a power-play goal exactly nine minutes later, as Koivula stepped between the circles and ripped a wrist shot past Dylan Garand’s glove. Pinho and Iskhakov were credited with the assists on the play, bringing Iskhakov’s point streak to a team-high and season-best six games (three goals, five assists). It was Koivula’s seventh goal of the season.
The Wolf Pack regained their lead 4:29 into the second period with a power-play goal from Brett Berard. The Hartford rookie rifled a shot past Tikkanen from the right circle, with Nikolas Brouillard and Mac Hollowell assisting on the play.
Bridgeport again followed up with the equalizer. Cole Bardreau’s fifth goal of the season and his third in the last six games came at 17:52 of the second. Garand went down after multiple shots, causing a second rebound to trickle out to Bardreau above the crease. Kyle MacLean and Pinho registered the assists.
The Wolf Pack took their third and final lead of the game 1:13 into the third period with a distant shot from Artem Anisimov, who joined Hartford on a professional tryout (PTO) just this week. The 16-year pro scored in his season debut with a shot along the goal line, near the left corner wall, that bounced off Tikkanen and angled in.
The Islanders finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Next Time Out: Military Appreciation Night presented by Superior Fence & Rail puts Bridgeport up against the Charlotte Checkers at 7 p.m. this Saturday. The first 2,500 fans will receive a free Islanders, camouflage hat, and the team will wear specialty military-themed jerseys that are up for auction online. All proceeds support the UCONN Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans. Doors open at 6 p.m. The game can be seen live on AHLTV.com or heard via the Bridgeport Islanders Radio Network.